COURTS OF PARIS, NAPLES, ETC. 157
anywhere, and as to plays and balls, I have not
been to a public place for a month, I expected
a few days ago that my turn was come, and that
I was to be ordered to follow Lord Malmesbury;
but things appear to have taken another twist, and
I fancy I am to stay. I had a hint given me the
other day that I should have something soon to do,
more than the administration had first intended.
If so, I should rejoice at the opportunity given me
of showing that I am capable of managing more
important concerns than those I am charged with.
I received a letter from La Croix, the ministre
des affaires interieures, who, by order of the
Directory, wished to see my commission. I called
on him with it, at his sumptuous H6tel de
Gallifet. He was civil enough in his way, but
appeared ignorant of the nature of our commis-
sion. (He kept mine.) He was in a long close
coat, and wore his hair very long and powdered,
without a queue. He is a tall, vulgar man.
I also waited upon Merlin de Douay, ministre
de la Justice, about Sir Sidney, whom I asked to
see, but in vain. This one was nicely powdered
and pig-tailed, with spectacles.
The Directory have found the means to be re-
chosen contrary to law, and to fill up vacancies
themselves in the college.